Call of Duty: World
at War is a 2008 first-person shooter video game developed
by Treyarch and published by Activision Blizzard for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360. It is generally considered to be the
fifth mainstream game of the Call of Duty series and returns the setting to World War II.
The game was released in North America on November 11,
2008, and in Europe on November 14, 2008. A Windows Mobile version was also
made available by Glu Mobile and different storyline versions for the Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2 were also produced,
but remain in the World War II setting. The game is based on an enhanced version of the Call of Duty 4: Modern
Warfare game engine developed by Infinity Ward with increased development on audio and visual effects.
World at War is a game in the Call of Duty series, and features a more mature theme than its previous installments. The game is also open-ended, giving the player multiple ways to complete objectives. The gameplay of World at War shares several features with previous iterations of the franchise. Players fight alongside AI-controlled teammates. They help during the game's missions by providing cover fire, shooting down enemies, and clearing rooms for entry.
When playing the Wii version of the game, instead of using a normal controller,such as the ones used by the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, an optional gun-like expansion controller known as the Wii Zapper can be used. The Zapper, or Wii Remote and Nunchuk, can be used to aim at targets to fire at them and simulate marksmanship.
The game's return to World War II-era warfare reintroduces weapons and technology that have been seen in other games in the Call of Duty franchise, including the Thompson submachine gun, the M1 Garand Rifle, the Mosin–Nagant rifle, and the Panzerschreck anti-tank rocket launcher. The player gains access to these over the course of the game, but may only carry up to two weapons in addition to hand grenades. Weapons and ammo from fallen foes or friendlies can be picked up to replace weapons in a player's arsenal. Players can also find weapons with additional attachments, including guns equipped with rifle grenades, telescopic sights, and bayonets.
A character can be positioned in one of three stances: standing, crouching, or prone; each affecting the character's rate of movement, accuracy, and stealth. Using cover helps the player avoid enemy fire or recover health after taking significant damage, as there are no armor or health powerups. When the character has taken damage, the edges of the screen glow red and the character's heartbeat increases. If the character stays out of fire, the character can recover. When the character is within the blast radius of a live grenade, a marker indicates the direction of the grenade, helping the player in deciding whether to flee or throw it back at the enemy.
The single player campaign includes thirteen hidden "death cards", denoted by playing cards attached to makeshift war graves. There is one in each level (barring those that take place in vehicles); collecting them unlocks cheats for Co-op mode, such as reduced enemy endurance and "paintball mode".
During the single-player campaign, the player controls three different characters from a first-person perspective. The player first assumes the role of Private C. Miller of the United States Marine Corps' 1st Division in the Pacific campaign. He is captured by the Japanese, but is rescued by Corporal Roebuck (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) and his men from the Marine Raiders squad, during the Makin Island raid. Other notable non-playable characters of the Marine Raiders unit include Sergeant Tom Sullivan (voiced by Chris Fries) and Private Polonsky (voiced by Aaron Stanford). Private Dimitri Petrenko, the second playable character, fights on the Eastern Front with Sergeant Viktor Reznov (voiced by Gary Oldman). They are joined by a third character, Private Chernov, Reznov's subordinate, who serves as a voice of reason throughout the campaign and regularly voices shock and disapproval at the brutal slaughter he regularly witnesses. They are all soldiers in the 3rd Shock Army under the command of Commissar Markhov. The third playable character in the campaign is Petty Officer Locke, a weapons operator on a PBY Catalina flying boat, who is only playable in the mission "Black Cats" during a solo campaign.